Customer Service

A few years ago when I bought my first digital camera, a Kodak EasyShare DX3500, I emailed Kodak to ask them if it would damage the camera if I took pictures of the sun. To this day, I still haven’t received a reply. Yesterday I wrote Canon asking the same question regarding my new PowerShot A80. Within a few min. I got an automated answer with a list of documents that might be of help. None of them were, but they also included a button at the bottom that I could click to have a human try to answer my question. By this morning, there was an answer waiting for me in my inbox (no).

I’ve emailed customer service at a lot of different companies with varying results. Disney for example seems to take a day or three to have a human look at the email, but then they almost always send a form reply, whether it answers your questions or not. Many companies, like Kodak allow emails to go unanswered. It’s rare for a company to respond within a few hours with the correct answer, but that’s exactly what they should all should be doing.

Telephone support costs a lot more per incident than email — nearly 10 times as much according to some studies. There is no reason for an email to take more than a day to be answered. If a business can’t respond to all of the emails it gets in one day, how is it ever going to catch up? Smart companies do everything they can to get their customers to use email instead of the phone for support, and it should be easy. All they have to do is: respond quickly and correctly. That’s it. It’s nothing more than they’re expected to do on the phone.